After a month honoring the history of the LGBTQIA+ community, The Hub closed out the month with a Halloween-themed event, featuring a classic lesbian romance — “But I’m a Cheerleader.”
Amira Abuazza, a grad student from St. Charles, Missouri, studying Criminal Justice Policy, works in The Hub as a graduate assistant and helped put on events during LGBTQIA+ month events. She said while planning the night, they wanted to make sure to have a happy and uplifting ending to the month, which is why they choose “But I’m a Cheerleader” to show. “But I’m a Cheerleader” is a 1999 movie about a high school girl who is sent to a conversion camp, but ultimately falls in love with one of the other girls at the camp.
“I find that like a lot of LGBTQIA+ movies sometimes end in tragedy or something that’s not as uplifting. So with closing the month out, we want to have just a fun party for everyone. I think we’re still trying to find a healthy mix of having fun events mixed in with educating people about the certain history and heritage months,” Abuazza said.
The event included a costume contest. Maya Sante, a senior environmental science major from Belleville, Illinois won. They said they were super excited that “But I’m a Cheerleader” was playing as it is their favorite movie, as well as for the chance to dress up as Mike, one of the counselors from the movie.
Senior Jo Moulton, an English secondary education major from Chatham, Illinois, works at The Hub and helped put on the events during the month. Moulton said when the committee was planning the event, they wanted to have a fun closing ceremony that celebrates the joy of the LGBTQIA+ experience instead of focusing on the bad.
“Since it [was] the Friday before Halloween we were like, ‘We have to have Halloween.’ We thought we’d show a movie that is fun and kind of matches the vibe without being a tragedy,” Moulton said.
Emily Brooks, a junior business major from Dunlap, Illinois, who attended the event with her friends, said she heard about the event from one of her friend’s sisters and she thought it sounded fun and a chance to see a new movie.
“I thought it sounded like a lot of fun and a great opportunity to branch out, maybe meet some new people, see a movie I’ve never seen before. I thought it’d be fun,” Brooks said.
Junior Rylee Hammonds, an exercise science major from Marion, Illinois, came with Brooks and said she hadn’t seen the movie before and wanted to come to the event. “I’m here to support the LGBTQ community,” Hammonds said.
Abuazza said she is excited for upcoming heritage and history months. She said that one of her coworkers is working on Native American Heritage Month events.
“I think having all these amazing heritage and history months, we need to always try and plan events that are fun, but also educational for our students to appreciate all the cultures,” Abuazza said.
Before the movie started, Laura Baker, staff counselor and coordinator of social services, spoke to the attendants. She said she wanted to make sure everyone knows that counseling services are there for everyone no matter what they may be going through. For more information, visit the Counseling Services website.